Harvard University Holden Green Housing, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University Holden Green Housing, Cambridge, MA

Scope
Renovation
104 units

When Harvard University needed a plan to rejuvenate two city blocks of highly popular graduate student housing that straddled the communities of Cambridge and Somerville, they turned to Davis Square Architects for help. The solution successfully juggled a tight budget, complicated phasing, year-round occupancy, multiple building types, deteriorated masonry, condemned heating systems, hazardous materials, labor union constraints, neighborhood concerns, and duplicate enforcement agencies across two towns.

In three phases spanning several years, the construction was competitively bid, with documents updated each year to incorporate ideas for better construction value. As a result, the last stage cost the least and finished the fastest. The multiple building types in this development now feature restored masonry, updated heating systems, as well as renovated and expanded kitchens and bathrooms. A beautifully landscaped central garden crowns the entry to the site, symbolically and functionally uniting one block with another: Cambridge with Somerville, town with gown.